Community Investment Review Teams (CIRT)Let your voice be heard! Sign up to volunteer your time by reviewing grant applications for local programs and make funding recommendations for our 2021-2022 fiscal year.
You can make a difference in our community by joining CIRT!
As a CIRT volunteer, you will work alongside a group of dynamic, passionate community leaders to invest funding in our community’s most impactful nonprofit programs. Together, these programs form a circle of support for our neighbors and provide critical supports such as mentoring, rent and utility assistance, health and mental health services and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know these services are even more vital to the strength and well-being of our community. The best part is you can do this meaningful volunteer work from your home! We are confident you will walk away from this experience with a richer understanding of our community’s needs and a greater appreciation for the impactful human service programs doing this amazing work.
Community Investment Volunteer
Thank you for your interest in becoming a community investment volunteer! Community investment volunteers are an essential part of the United Way of the Midlands’ community investment process. Volunteers evaluate each nonprofit program before making investments to ensure donations fund programs that make the biggest impact in our community. There’s been a surge in demand for services from nonprofit organizations – UWM funding provides critical support to meet this expanding need. Your input and participation is essential in this process so it’s important that you’re able and willing to fulfill the time commitment necessary. Individuals employed by a UWM funded agency are ineligible to serve as community investment review volunteers.
Joining CIRT may be right for you if:
- You think strategically about issues and problem-solve
- You are a content expert in health and human services
- You are interested in data and the support of data-based decision making
- You have a desire to learn more about the issues and greatest needs facing our community
- You are invested in UWM’s guiding principles of transparency, accountability, partnership and engagement
We invite you to watch our video featuring previous CIRT volunteers to learn more about their experience:
Community investment volunteers typically commit to spend 20-25 hours of time over a five-month period, January through May. Over the five-month period, approximately 7 hours will be spent reviewing materials on your own time and approximately 18 hours will involve participating in training, meetings, and agency visits. With the current pandemic in our community, agency visits will likely not occur in 2021, depending on agencies’ visitor policies. All training and meetings will occur in a virtual environment.
Our current plan is that volunteers would participate in three meetings, and review and score approximately a dozen applications independently as outlined below.
- February: Virtual orientation to the process and materials. Volunteers review and score applications independently
- March/April: Volunteers meet to discuss scores and applications as a group
- April/May: Volunteers meet to make funding recommendations
Role & Responsibilities
A community investment volunteer’s role and responsibilities are to:
- Make every effort to attend all meetings and visits;
- Review financial and program reports from agencies to obtain a clear understanding of the agency programs and operations;
- Prepare program funding recommendations to present to the United Way of the Midlands Board of Directors regarding the allocation of dollars available for distribution to agency programs; and
- Enjoy your time learning about the needs in our community while reviewing amazing programs, alongside other caring individuals, while making a positive impact in our community.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Volunteers who serve on an agency’s Board of Directors and are interested in applying for funding or who are closely associated with an affiliate are ineligible to serve on the review team that monitors that agency. It is important for all volunteers to review United Way’s Disclosure/Ethics Statement.
Decisions at United Way are made by individuals of the highest character who are concerned about the well-being of their community and those who live there. Policy-making volunteers include Omaha’s top business, labor, civic, and cultural leaders. Many of these individuals have leadership roles in other organizations. If a vote on an issue at United Way affects one or more of those organizations and a volunteer feels that his or her vote is or may be construed to be a conflict of interest with other responsibilities, he or she may abstain from voting on that issue.
Each volunteer is asked to sign United Way’s Code of Ethics document to affirm their understanding and support of the standards included within that document.
To assist volunteers in fulfilling their responsibilities, a member of the United Way team will be assigned to each subcommittee to serve in a liaison capacity between the volunteers and the agency. They will provide materials to volunteers before each meeting.
It is then a volunteer’s responsibility to study and review the information and ask their subcommittee’s UWM liaison to send clarifying questions to agency leadership so that an informed recommendation can be made.
UWM supports volunteer efforts by:
- Coordinating subcommittee meetings;
- Providing consultation to agencies to ensure receipt of data that is both accurate and timely;
- Helping to analyze financial and program data from agencies; and
- Assisting in providing options and alternatives to identified issues.